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About my Twitter anniversary

I have been rather quiet on social media recently due to a week away from home. My Twitter anniversary came as something of a surprise, when it was flagged up to me – not least because I have now been tweeting, twittering or otherwise being a twit for five years. (Photo from Twitter)

Figure five decorated with coloured scrolls and paisley shapes on a pink background

My reasons for joining Twitter may be found in an earlier post.

Why have I continued with Twitter for 5 years? The short answer is that I enjoy Twitter. Although it is known as a place where feelings run high and people are nasty to each other, that has not been my experience.

I follow accounts for news, writers, books, countryside, photography, heritage, nature (especially wildflowers and birds), people I have met offline, church, music, A to Z bloggers, over 40s bloggers and a few random accounts of bloggers. I also ‘follow back’ people, who seem to have something in common with me. Twitter analytics tells me that most of my followers are interested in dogs.

From Twitter I learn lots of things. I do not watch television at home. However the information I find on Twitter for news and weather keeps me up-to-date. My knowledge of the names of wildflowers and some of their characteristics has been helped by #wildflowerhour.

While I was away recently I watched several quiz shows on my hostess’s television. I was amazed how many answers I could guess correctly. I haven’t learned from TV. Twitter and books are my teachers!

When people tweet about TV programmes, I am not particularly interested, but I do become aware of the programmes, which are being shown. At one time I’d have had this information from the Radio Times. Nowadays it is available online.

I keep away from political debate. If something seems to be happening locally, which might be newsworthy, I do not Tweet about the emergency vehicles I have seen. The emergency services need to be able to work without undue attention. Afterwards I might write about something, such as a recent fire. I sometimes retweet other people’s tweets. There has to be a balance about how much one retweets and original posts. Many of my posts alert my followers to blog posts – either mine or those on the More than Writers’ blog to which I am a contributor. I sometimes interact with others, but not many people reply to most of my tweets.

Since I joined, Twitter has changed from 140 to 280 characters. I could usually say what I wanted in the original number of characters. I have just about become used to the longer Tweets. I also find the Add a Tweet facility quite useful as one can produce a thread of tweets all at once. I have begun to add descriptions to my photos for those with impaired or limited vision. Tweetdeck is very useful for Twitter chats, such as #wildflowerhour.

As I have followed more people on Twitter the number of posts I have liked compared to the number of my tweets (including retweets) has increased.

I perhaps spend too much time scrolling through Twitter. However I do not watch TV, so I regard Twitter as my entertainment.

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What I read in June 2018 (Part 2)

A publisher I follow on Twitter put out an appeal for people to buy books. I had a look through the catalogue and selected two books, which looked interesting. They were novels by women. They were light reading. I found them interesting, but wouldn’t be inclined to read any more by either author. This is a matter of personal taste. There was some very good writing, especially in the first book, A Place to Stop by Susan Wicks. I found the ending unsatisfactory. It was ambiguous (unless I failed to understand it). I like all the ends tied up neatly. (The books arrived with a hand-written note on a postcard, which was a lovely personal touch.)

The second book was He Wants by Alison Moore. The plot here was more structured than the other book. Lady Chatterley’s Lover (which I have not read) was referred to in the book, which includes similar subject matter. There was an episode, in which some people went to a Billy Graham crusade meeting. This seemed to be written from the point of view of an onlooker rather than a person, who was involved and committed. It didn’t appear to make any lasting difference to the characters in the story. This does not reflect the experiences of people I know. A bookshop proprietor I follow on Twitter had recommended the author.

The third book of this group is the only one I would recommend to other people. I found it in the library at Scargill House. I had seen the series recommended by a different publisher I follow on social media. It is a book for girls of secondary school age. Beech Bank Girls: Every girl has a story by Eleanor Watkins uses fiction to highlight many issues, which affect young people in the modern world. This book is well-written in a style accessible to the target readership. I managed to read it from cover to cover in the free time over the weekend. I have already recommended it as ideal for the only girl I know in the age group for which it was written. I reviewed another book by Eleanor Watkins here.

Beech Bank Girls

I can now say that there will be two more posts in this series, making four in total.

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Why it is good to meet up with other writers

Last weekend I attended a writers’ conference. The main theme was short story writing.

The weather was perfect – dry but not too hot. There was plenty of good food, beautiful scenery, birds to watch and more besides.

The speakers and most of those attending the sessions are members of the Association of Christian Writers (ACW), which has a new website. There is a link to its daily blog to which I contribute seven times a year.

The first time I attended one of these weekends I wrote a post about how over-stimulated I was afterwards. Now that I have met many of the people before, it is not so overwhelming. They are the sort of people with whom one resumes a friendship as if we met more frequently. The phrase, picking up where we left off, springs to mind. Quite a few of us keep in touch on Facebook.

I had been feeling short of writing inspiration and enthusiasm for blogging before I went. The writing exercises and conversations with other people helped me write a short story and two poems on the Saturday. I also decided what to write about for my next More than Writers blog post.

Because I was still bruised from a fall in our garden over a week earlier, I didn’t venture on a long walk on the Saturday afternoon, but stayed in, putting a few pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. It had only been started by our group and had 1000 pieces. The usual comment from passers-by was, “Have you finished it yet?”

I also borrowed a children’s book from the library at Scargill House and read it from cover to cover during the weekend. My next post here should be about books. I have been reading more than writing this month.

The weekend ended with a service of Holy Communion in the beautiful chapel and Sunday lunch. The leaders gave the talk in the service, encouraging us in life as well as in writing.